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The stratification of the Earth into crust, mantle, and core has long been known, but the state and dynamics of the inner earth are only beginning to be understood. In his Perspective, van der Hilst describes work by Trampert et al. that shows large-scale compositional heterogeneity in the Earth's mantle, the rocky shell between some 40- and 2890-km depth beneath us. This has important implications for our understanding of the long-term evolution of our planet and implies that chemistry must be accounted for in computer simulations of mantle convection.